George Mason University, the first U.S. college campus to offer autonomous food delivery, and Starship Technologies are celebrating four years of service and over 330,000 orders placed. The company launched the service in 2019 with a fleet of 25 robots, which has grown to nearly 60 serving the Fairfax campus.
Starship says the campus community have embraced the robots from the start, and that orders have increased nearly 72 percent in the past two years.
“It’s hard to believe that we’ve already been doing deliveries at Mason for four years,” Chris Neider, director of business development at Starship Technologies, said in a statement. “The campus community was excited about the technology and the cool factor from the start. We’ve taken what we learned at Mason and have incorporated those lessons across the U.S.”
The most popular orders include coffee, with over 39,828 delivered, and Steak ‘N’ Shake’s Original Double ‘N Fries, ordered 13,637 times. In addition, breakfast has seen an uptick in orders since the robots arrived, but lunch reigns in as the most popular meal of the day.
Madison Bryan-Barnes, a junior Integrative Studies major, said in a statement that she didn’t realize the robots delivered food when she first saw them on campus. “I always thought they were really cute and was surprised at how fast they moved,” said Bryan-Barnes. “The first time I ordered Starship I was having a really hard day, and I was grateful that I didn’t have to go anywhere to get my food, I like that Mason has a way for students to have their food delivered in a timely fashion.”
Noting northern Virginia’s changeable weather, Bryan-Barnes added, “I’ve definitely used Starship when it’s been super cold or hot.”
Starship’s zero-emission robots are designed to deliver food, groceries and packages locally within minutes. Starship currently operates in over 35 campuses across the U.S. and has made over 4 million deliveries worldwide.